Showing 100 of 173 comments.
Happy Birthday, Dorothea.
Thanks to Peter Lehmann for the info.
I agree with you. Poor nutrition is at the heart of a great deal of emotional distress. This includes people binging on sugar and its demonic cousins such as aspartame.
People get touchy about this subject because typically they have child-like eating habits, and don’t want to fess up.
They keep a firm grip on the lollipop.
“But in indigenous cultures, past and present, it is often through the experience of psychosis, and recovering from that experience, that constitutes the guidelines for becoming a shaman. ”
Can you name one?
What we in the West call shamans are what we in the west once called more often ‘witch doctors’.
In Northern European indigineous cultures, the so-called shaman is chosen at birth. This is widely true also in African cultures.
People who we in the west call schizophrenic in so-called shamanic cultures are generally considered as demon-possessed in some way or other, and the shaman will direct the magical cure, via one or other kind of violence. Which will often make western-style ‘interventions’ appear like a walk in the park.
I think so long as the ‘alternative’ movement pushes all this romanticised mumbojumbo it will remain in the shadows.
“I would describe shamans as spiritual rather than magical, although they may use some things that look to be “magic” in some instances to our Western eyes.”
Yes. For instance across Africa in so-called shamanic cultures the so-called shaman advise men with HIV and AIDS to rape infants to effect an instant cure.
“Shamans and how they are understood by their communities cannot be interpreted by western, colonial White European understanding.”
Although, that’s precisely what you’ve been doing in your comment.
Primitivism is not the way forward, by any stretch of the imagination. The clue as to why is in the word itself…
If calling Hitler a madman is a “nasty piece of sanism” then it follows that calling him evil is a nasty piece of moralism, if it’s circular reasoning at the heart of the problem.
Hitler, so far as history knows, didn’t kill anyone. Just like Charlie Manson. His influence was such that he could sway others to killing. Like say Obama or Thatcher, Reagan or Stalin, Blair or Mao, Bush or Pol Pot.
Of course, to compel others to kill requires quite complex conditions to be in place. But maybe not so complex as all that. Given that there is a killing instinct in every human being that is as god-given and natural as the love instinct.
Love is worthless without hate. That’s something understood in the story of Jesus. His love was inexpressible unless he was crucified.
Same too the mythos of Gandhi, he of the overcompensated passive aggression. Gandhi couldn’t express his love or use love for social change unless others — other than himself — were getting their heads kicked in, or worse. Did Gandhi love his martyrs, those that had their heads kicked in in order for Gandhi’s love to be felt?
Gandhi understood that the reverse of the instinct to kill wasn’t always the instinct to love. Very often it’s the instinct to be killed.
And all the maytrs that willingly walked into the flames or knowingly fell onto the sword understood this too.
In the darkness of humanity — which is really the fullness of humanity — death, killing and hate are fundamental. To describe these aspects of humanity as madness is calling a rose a rose.
Psychotherapy is *a* treatment. It is not *the* treatment.
And in any case drawing so close to another human being — especially during psychosis — only really ever amounts to this other resisting or succumbing in various ways themselves to psychosis.
All human agency is performative. As our lives becomes ever-more theatricised, so too the performance will be graded in modernist terms, typically from 1-10. Henceforward, there will be a massive increase in so-called DID, ranging from the somewhat appalling (1-3) performances leaving a sickening or at least unsatisfactory impression (40something women mimicking gross apparitions of tiny bewildered children, for example) — as the watching eye becomes ever more prevalent, so too the urge to perform will grow.
There is always– without exception — something sinister going on with psychotherapists. Given the right conditions that sinisterliness manifests.
I hope I get handed benzos when I’m nearing the end.
As well as all the other stuff.
What is a “safe space”? Who makes it safe? Who gets to decide what safe means?
I’ve watched with interest the far right beg these questions but they remain unanswered.
How does a space become safe? What violence is required to ensure safety?
What “invaluable existential and spiritual insight” did you gain from psychedelics?
Cocaine and alcohol is by far the worst combo that leads to heart attacks and sudden death. Mixing the two creates a third substance in the body called cocaethylene, which can build up over many years and cause sudden death at any point, potentially, even years after last use.
Cocaethylene is massively more dangerous than either cocaine or alcohol on their own. I believe the risk of having a heart attack is 40x greater when cocaethylene is active in the body.
Not making any apologies for other drugs but it’s a teeny bit blinkered to overlook the dangers of mixing cocaine and alcohol, especially when pointing the finger of blame over a celebrity Hollywood death.
Also, call me old-fashioned. but I think it is more dignified to at least wait until a person has been buried or cremated or whatever before one starts to publicly play the armchair pathologist about what led to them becoming a corpse.
My partner tells me that Carrie Fisher freely admitted to gulping back huge amounts of alcohol and insufflating huge amounts of cocaine during her life.
This is not unusual for people with problems of mood that also have access to a bit of cash. And especially not unusual for someone from the hollywood set.
To write a whole article without mention of cocaine, alcohol or cocaethylene is bizarre. Even if you think such speculations about fresh corpses are civilised.
Happy New Year!
(additonally, with respect, she appears somewhat medically obese in the photo. obesity is also a major factor in heart disease. it’s important to factor everything in, if you’re going to play the armchair pathologist. was her mother also on psychiatric drugs?)
If I have scanned this correctly:
what people need to oercome their what some choose to call schizoiphrenia is more what some people choose to call schizophrenia?
[side note. general point. trigger warning: may contain traces of humour]
If you think that by not using the words schizophrenia or psychosis you will rid the world of what comes to be called schizophrenia or psychosis then as far as I’m concerned you are being a bit of a word I am not permitted to use.
Just one last point. Just as tribes are very selective about who can be and who can not be a shaman (generally never if you are a woman), so too are alternative mad movements selective in who they will and will not accept into their fold as an acceptable manisfestation of a mad person.
And boy do I know this to be true….
Yoiu become a shaman and remain a shaman because you are selected by others and, at times, deselected by others.
We do that too in the west. We laud and celebrate very specific people who hold qualities we consider not too dissimilar to sanity, generally people that make great effort to mimic the ways and mores of their times.
When the mad person or the shaman does not adhere to very narrow lines of being and behaviour, they are excluded, persecuted, demeaned, punished and sometimes killed.
Otherwise thanks for the article. When I read you it’s like hearing myself without all the noise. And there is of course norhing so perfect and beautiful than the hearing of one’s own voice. 🙂
Also just to add: the shaman as one distinct entity is a New Age western construct. As an interesting thought experiment, if you took a village from south america and merged it with a village in africa, that had to retain some semblance of their tribal treaditions, the shaman though appearing alike to western eyes, would be violently opposed by the tribespeople.
I imagine because the shaman is the holder of traditioon as well as the holder of stories and meciicine.
Which is why a tribesperson that challenges the shaman would be violently opposed, and indeed is, violently opposed.
Indiigenous Australians — as far as I’m aware — had various cultural traditions that barely changed in structure for tens of thousands of years. I don’t believe it is possible to institute against innovation and reform and new ideas without instituting violence. Opposing the shamanic would surely mean to oppose tradition.
Which is maybe what true madness is., a challenge to all that is held to be sacred and iimmutable. Or even just what is held to be acceptable or deferent.
I agree. I wrote long ago in an obscure place and in a much less structured way that dispatching people through the ovens one by one was a more palatable approach, than en masse.
The shaman is an attractive alternative role for some people to adopt. Although in our cultures, people have been doing that anyway, alongside the history of schizophrenia, and that’s why we have mediums and churches and the New Age movement. And then if you put aside romanticists like Terence McKenna, and have a closer look at tribal societies, the shamans are inititiated way before they show any signs of what we come to call schizophrenia. And in fact, if you look even closer, the people with what we in the west call schizoprenia are often very harshly treated in tribal societies, such as being tied to trees, or purged from the village, precisely because the shaman can’t make head not tail of what’s happening to them. Because the mad person challenges the shaman’s conceit.
The New Age romantic construct of the shaman is a nice idea, until you dig a little deeper.
People that come to be diagnosed with schizophrrnia do not have a magical healing gift. They have madness. Or demon possession, as some prefer. And all the world over and throughout time, the mad person is rejected, tortured, or exiled.
So the shaman role is a false hope, for the majority. Madness challenges everything. And tries the patience of everyone. Including the sham with his shakey stick and his peculiar genital mutilation rituals.
An important question never asked (I’ve not seen or heard it asked) of people that claim to have heard the voice of God, is what does God’s voice sound like?
The usual reply is: you’ll know it when you hear it…
which is out and out trickery and avoidance.
It’s a serious question. What does God sound like? Does he have an accent. Is his voice deep or shrill? Does he sound like Brian Blessed or Charlton Heston?
It’s not true though as the cliche goes that’s it is acceptable to hear the voice of God. It’s generally a social frightener in secular circles. Or worst, amongst the religious, enough to have you rounded on as an a blasphemer or apostate.
I expect you probably mean well but I don’t think society defines ‘mental illness’ in such simplistic ways. There are just too man examples of people living crazy lives doing crazy things that don’t get singled out as ill. They might be called mad or eccentric but as a general rule of thumb that is because they are directing their crazy energies into things which is generally taken as legitimately mad (whether that is because it is entertaining, or, often these days, the act of madness is considered inspirational in some peculiar way).
Hi Fiachra. You can’t possibly belittle my experience because you don’t know what it entailed. I was psychotic for about 18 months. By psychotic I mean I was beset by unremitting hallucinations, mostly of a tactile nature. By unremitting I mean that they were ongoing from the moment I awoke to the moment I fell asleep.
You’ll have to help me about a bit by what you mean by “disturbed”. Are you using this word as an adjective or a noun?
In either case, generally speaking, the effect of unremitting psychosis (for people such as I at the time, making my first plod around the block of unfamiliar turf) is to be somewhat emotionally disturbed (or freaked out) by the experience, as well as disturbed by it (eg to have the rug pulled from under my feet).
I struggled to hold true to my (at the time) atheistic and existential underpinnings under the onsluaght of what at the time felt increasingly like some kind of supernatural curse, and took some contradictory comfort in the Book of Job and Maupasaant’s The Horla, both of which took on new significance during the experience.
I am in no doubt now that this was a psychosis. After the fact numerous people of various biases have attempted to remould the narrative I have shared about it to their own agenda, and none of them have made any sensible meaning, other than psychiatrists. When psychiatrists first put it to me that I had suffered a psychosis it was only really my sense of pride, my ego, that caused me to resist that interpretation. Because in all honesty it was something I had feared throughout it, even though, as it endured, my grasp on my own madness increasingly failed, until in the closing months, I was ‘coping’ in very strange and self-defeating ways.
Thanks for the replies. Much to consider. Sincere best wishes.
Manna from heaven, from the first word to the last. Bang on the buck, Mr Bruce Levine.
How does a psychiatrist determine that a person would benefit from one antipsychotic and not another antipsychotic?
Please look away now if you can’t stomach the honest answer:
Just to add, with respect, that the promise of heaven and some kind of liberation from the body as a spirit, is undoubtedly helpful and hopeful to many people, but whether wittingly or not, these are dangerous ideas that play into the hands of psychopathic and genocidal social systems. They imbue a sense of fatality into peoples’ hearts. They fetishise victimisation and give up the power to fight and make the world a better place.
Heaven is a deeply subversive and oppressive construct. It removes hope from the world and re-locates it outside of time.
False hope is never positive. It’s always negativity wearing a disguise.
Still… same as it ever was…
I forgot to add this bit:
the killing and the violence isn’t perceived in genocidal situations as killing and violence per se, more a kind of tidying up process, like removing the weeds from a flower-bed.
“I do find it strange though. The penalty for Conspiring to Stupefy to Commit an Indictable Offense (namely Kidnapping) is 30 years. Why would attempting to murder someone to conceal this be a problem? You get less in our legal system lol.
And with police assistance to ensure that Doc doesn’t have any issues with the paperwork? We have a Doctor running around here at present openly declaring that she killed a patient (hastened her demise is how she put it). Psychiatrists etc are doing that also, sometimes by about 30 years lmao.
And still nothing is done.”
There’s a great book by Ben Kiernan called Blood and Soil, in which he gives an eyeopening summary of the various conditions that give rise to genocide and there is much insight to be gained about mad history.
Nothing is done about the killing because the killing is the thing to be done. Nothing is done about the violence because the violence is the thing to be done.
To normaliise any genocide one must first achieve the dehumanisation of the enemy.
And to dehumanise the enemy one must create a bold and pervasive narrative about them acting as some kind of threat or subversion to the glorious status quo.
Creating the conditions in which so much rationality can be tipped on its head is a prerequisite, and for the most part, it is essential to dehumanise one’s enemy (for us, the so-called enemies of reason).
Treatment of any kind (i.e. the designation of one’s being as subversive, other, non-human or not fully human) is a violence against the self. Idealised as a necessary violence.
The supreme conclusion of these processes are when the objects of hate internalise the hate. “I must subject myself willingly to this violence because I am the hated object”.
It has helped me to come to terms with what happened by thinking about these social processes (which by all evidential accounts have run along the entire history of humankind, in other words, the hatred is embedded in us, as social animals) to achieve one minor yet quite liberating change in my noggin, which is to break that endless repetition of going over and over what happened to me, appealing at ever opportunity to be acknowledged, for someone, anyone, to say “yes, you were hurt very badly, and it was wrong.”
I think that’s the role we play as survivors. We are the only people that actually know or are able to know that a violence has occurred, and that it was unreasonable, irrational, and genocidal. Even amongst survivors themselves it’s a rare bird that has a deep understanding of it.
Taking one of the article writer’s examples and looking at it from a more practical standpoint. Misplacing one’s keys. “You bloody idiot” says the bowlderised inner voice. “You silly billy.”
Because one has been lapsadaisical (a wonderful word I’m sure I hae not misspelled but which is being shamed by the automatic spellchecker as erroneous)…
As my dear other-half has been reminding me for some time: there is a place for everything, you nincompoop!
Now, whenever I have finished using a key and am about to place it down where it doesn’t belong I hear her shaming voice in my head. “Put it on the keyhook, you nincompoop!” and I am grateful for the shaming, because I put it on the key hook, invariably, and no longer waste hours of my life hunting for the key.
And when I have been slightly more abrasive than the situation generally permits, I suffer terrorising shame and guilt, for a little bit. Then shrug it off as an unwanted negativising inner injunction, and go on ahead in life making the same blunders, upsetting the fragile and the sensitive with too-much frankness and verbal honesty.
A society without shaming and guilt-inducing inner thoughts would be an interesting one, without a doubt. It would probably be paradise for the psychopathic.
btw I look forward to your reasoning about when you think so-called antipsychotics are best used. They are unfit for human consumption. As the late Dr Lars Martensson asserted, they are “a crime against humanity.” I would think twice about giving them to a rabid dog. Strangely they are very popular amongst many people that take them regularly under the threat of one form of violence or other if they do not take them. These same people are in abundance these days, promoting them to others. It’s exactly the same as what zombies do on the telly and in the movies. Once bitten there is no looking back. And they have an insatiable hunger to share…
Even if you push a cork up your anus to overcome the guilt and shame of what comes out of it (and for some, what goes into it) you will even still be left with the guilt and shame of having inserted a cork up your anus.
The point we are making here, that’s me, your reading eyes, and any third party you care to include, is that guilt and shame are necessary assets.
Any form of writing is work. Just that writing as a vocation is undervalued. Hence the scarcity of renumeration.
The amateur textbox commentators are often to be found all over the internet, expending a great deal of blood sweat and tears, information, humour, basic human capital, voluntarily, with no financial reward.
But do not be mistaken that such activities generally are generating capital in some way or other.
Of course, such pursuits can become an addiction in themselves. I suppose the material reward then is egoic, or narcissistic. I’m not sure. All I know is an expert wouldn’t be willing to answer me below the line. There’s too little in it!
Nice article. Nice shades.
“I am writing this under my real name. In this way I am asserting that one does not have to be scared or ashamed of speaking publicly about having been severely psychotic.”
I suppose that’s a start. But it nonetheless demotes psychotic experience as something to be overcome, something that is located in the past, something which once was and is no more, and so is less shameful.
I think a lot of people are being sucked in at the peripheries, and they are often able to scramble out. They were only ever gatecrashing the party but by bad luck and cultural corruption found themselves sucked in.
Well done for dragging yourself away and back up the spout.
But the inner vortex of madness has no way out. It is who you are and where you will remain. It is you. Your person. It isn’t something shameful that happened in the past. It is your being. Past, present and future.
Now this notion that madness arises solely and only from trauma and abuse. There is not a single human being alive or having lived or not yet living that is not, has not, or will not be subjected to some form of trauma and abuse. Not one person.
So if we are going to say that madness arises from trauma and abuse then we must be honest and put all the cards on the table and admit also that sanity arises from trauma and abuse.
Then apply Occam’s razor and we are left with all adult humans come to be who they are as a result of trauma and abuse.
The problem we are left with is the riddle of the ages: why are some mad and some others not mad? And if everyone is emerging at some point from trauma and abuse, exactly what do we mean by recovery?
I was administered a medication from a small bottle. It was a pink and treacly liquid. I remember the day the GP suggested it and the day he said to discontinue it. I was told it was for bed-wetting but the bed-wetting continued regardless. Every single night before bed. One sometimes two small plastic spoonfuls. Can’t pin down the ages but it went on I believe for a number of years during pre-adolescence. A pleasant tang on the tongue but it was quickly down the hatch as it soon turned bitter.
What was it? There are big gaps in my medical records. Haven’t a clue. There are conspiracy theorists in the UK that claim there were covert experiments going on throughout the 50s, 60s, 70s on children (particularly working class children), as part of this country’s contributions to the MKULTRA programme. Which remain to this day largely obfuscated, buried, ignored.
It doesn’t seem plausible or possible, which is why I don’t dismiss it outright.
Covert drug experiments (and in recent decades, overt drug experiments) have been a feature of the status quo for so long, it would now be more peculiar for it not to happen.
Life is so absurd, so often shrouded in multiple layers of deception and bullshit, that to point to the Truth is a seditious act — or an opportunity to accuse someone of paranoia.
Maybe I was being treated as a child with schizophrenia. It did happen back then. Just not so often and not so openly as now.
My apologies to David Healy for the self-indulgence. The road to medicated wellness is truly paved in absurdity.
@ Sandra Steingard, MD
Thanks for this article. I liked how you pinned the term “anosognosia” on a psychologist. I think in anyone’s hands it’s a powerful weapon. Although in a peculiar way it snugly slots into both sides of the argument, in that sometimes it is correct for a psychiatrist to make this accusation, and equally sometimes it is correct for a mad person to make this accusation (often to a psychiatrist or other mental health professional).
Given that madness is perceived in both directions.
Unusual experiences? Evolved responses? Probably the latter.
It seems animals all have mechanisms that reduce the suffering of becoming prey, or dying, and the human is no exception.
Thanks for the Fight Club clip, an interesting meditation on narcissism and the life-affirming beauty of violence and death.
You already are “someone”.Even if someone is point9ing a gun at your head and considers you to be no-one, because they are holding the gun and are thrilled by the seeming power of life and death. We are all gods now, say the unwise. Only the person with the gun can assert that.
Narcissism rarely leaves the home without some help and support from nihilism.
But I get what you are getting across, maybe. Extreme experiences bring us closer to Life, if we choose. Which is kind of an invitation for sadists to give you a kicking.
Diogenes of Sinope lacked hope too.
I’m not sure what your point is. That’s a line from Hamlet. Spoken by Hamlet to Horatio after both have encountered the ghost of Hamlet’s dead father.
That both Hamlet and Horatio witnessed the “wondrous strange” adds another layer of ambiguity. It’s a big loose thread in the narrative. It’s interesting how people these days take those words as some kind of official Mr Shakespeare endoresement of ghosts and ghoulies. Probably in a few hundred years time some people will be quoting JK Rowling’s characters in similar ways.
“No idea what you mean love”
Extremist unhappiness (and I use that word considerately, because what we get to call severe depression is a form of fanaticism) is absolute in its filtering.
To tackle one extremism with another form of extremism can be made to appear like a redemption, and in many ways it is, but you are left with a reconfigured extremism and I don’t think this has been enabling honesty and hope. It’s been the method adopted pretty much universally and where it seems to be taking us is to a point of redundancy. Where the problem of being human is solved by not being human. Or at the harsher end, there being no humans at all.
Nietzsche tackled the problems of evangelism for obscure constructs like hope and heaven. Such fanaticism does seem to bring about collective mindsets that think the only way forward is to go blindly, at ever faster rates. Away from the body and the filth of nature. Again.
Nietzsche pointed out that the many preachers of love actually hated humanity. They hated their flesh. Their bowels and wotnot. So they make fanciful constructs about the spirit, which is clean and pure and disembodied. The body being the source of impurity and filth. Again.
I was suggesting that when the fanaticism kicks in, it’s helpful to remind oneself of the endless repetition. Which is futile. Again.
Add again and suddenly what?
“Depression is a feeling of being totally alone,”
I don’t know because I just deal on a basic level.
Depression is a feeling of being totally alone.
You must always add again to your suffering.
“I am so sad and so desperate and this is so now to me.” Again.
“I am so banal. I am so insecure. I am so unsure.” Again. Add again.
I forgot to add this again. Why do I keep forgetting to add things?
The best and most rewarding bit in the theatrics is when psychiatry backs away from you. They generally won’t back away from you until convinced they have broken your spine. And it isn’t the broken spine that makes them back away. It’s when you can actually look them in the eye and mimic their dispassion and tell them they have broken your spine.
That’s the very point they back away.
It is because now they are repulsed by you. The disfigured person before them. It mustn’t happen often but every psychiatrist at least once in their career experiences this unbearable collision between the monster they have made and the unmentionable monster inside of them.
That is when and why they back away.
I think psychiatry reflects the bullshit of whatever culture they are operating in, with added LED mood lighting. They would be redundant as a discipline if people wanted honesty, and poetic probing, and expert-analysis.
What is expert-analysis of a person and their life and their mind? I agree with the experts that no-one is sure. And that the need is sometimes so intense, so necessary, that any old hat floating down the river will do for a true fit,for most of the people, most of the time.
I don’t mind when people including psychiatrists don’t listen to me because I’m not much motivated to listen to them either. So maybe try not to take the culture too seriously?
And often I would rather not listen to myself which is why I went to Budapest in 1996 and invented loud music.
Or sob their hearts out.
It gets a bit long in the tooth. What happens to you or me or Captain Spock on drugs is what happens to you or me or Captain Spock on drugs. We don’t become instant drug-induced experts on the drug. And we don’t become sudden overnight insight-sensations about what the drugs do to other people. Almost all subjective drug experiences are best not mentioned in polite conversation unless — UNLESS! — you have a very rare gift for drug discourse. Which most don’t.
So stick to the science in which your self-proclaimed “expertise” disappears, as rightly it should.
Otherwise I have some sympathy for the sentiment.
Just to furtively add here — as I just had this overwhelming realisation that I may be perceived as making negative and hopeless comments — that I don’t have any problem letting the OBE and NDE people have their hug-groups and their bookclubs and their after-you, no-no after you really really after you, no no no after you I insist after you.
Hope is dead. As I romanticise Norwegian culture I have a terrible habit of assuming that, just as I assume all sensible Irish people are brimful of Beckett, all sensible Norwegians are full of Hamsun and his unmentionable literary love-child.
It’s silly really to be hopeful. You will die and it’s a messy business from which you will not come back.
An actual “mature soul” doesn’t invent fairy stories to cope with all the bad news. They confront it face on and laugh their chops off.
Nobody ever died and came back to talk about it. Some people make daft claims. Hey man, I died and came back. Who said you died? Well, a team of experts decided that there was a point when a person is officially dead, and I came back from that point.
Then maybe the experts need to revise the point they have decided a person is dead, because clearly, with all the NDE fanatics and the OBE evangelists, they have made some fundamental errors in their calculations.
It’s about the most deluded statement a person can make. “I came back from death.” No you didn’t. No-one does. Death is a one-way ticket. In every instance a person claims to have died and come back, they didn’t die and went no-where, despite the excitedness and the self-delusion.
Most rational people grasp this.
People seem to be accusing one another a lot these days of black and white thinking. When really they have a firm belief and wish to state that belief in no uncertain terms. I state that as a hasty prologue really in anticipation of people doing the italian nail-flick of their front teeth at me, in prose…
My experiences of madness, which are many, are a lot more nuanced than ‘lacked insight’ versus ‘did not lack insight’.
You might argue as I’ve seen many argue that anosognosia is a politically motivated act of oppression. But it can also be argued that it is an actual act of psychiatric kindness in that it attempts to make real what for many people is decided as an act of deliberate fraud.
Even mad people often accuse other mad people of having more insight than they actually have. It’s the violence that is rarely addressed and to be honest, while I have a lot of time for psychologists (even though it would seem that they have very little time for me) I think they are also prone to attributing far more insightfuless to people than is actually available in the moment. Often because they have some kind of burning intellectual need to be right when all the evidence points to them being wrong.
There are many many examples from my own life when I have fallen foul to more severe bouts of madness and not been insightful as much as I would prefer. If I was able to be as insightful as I prefer then I would not be suffering ongoing difficulties. Particularly relational difficulties. Even at times difficulties in the text box which are often attributed as deliberate instances of this, that and the other, as a way of harsh judgement, as opposed to what is really going on — I’m losing or have lost insight.
But moreso one of my methods of coping is to compartmentalise my madder periods, and give them clear-cut beginnings that in all truth are not particularly honest. If I don’t do this my self-esteem takes a worse hit.
Anosognosia may not be an actual disease entity but having a fancy psychiatric word for something that really does happen, and which people commonly refuse to accept as happening and being real, is actually a very helpful and humane phenomena to be able to appeal to, to try and understand, for people to be told is real and for it to be acknowledged.
Of course, like any concept (like say the concept of “the quantum”, or the concept of “natural”, or the concept of “freedom”, or the concept of “success”, of the conceot of “recovery”and so on) it’s prone to be abused. And is sometimes abused but not as often as people seem to imply.
We can have a laugh and a giggle about the logical inconsistencies but below the giggles and the back-pats is the harsh reality of some people’s struggles that involve actual lapses into anosognosia.
I get the impression sometimes that people think that if they wish away all the psychiatric language they will also wish away the madness and somehow all will be sane with the world again.
Good point about compelling psychiatrists to have a dabble in antipsychotics if they should be so bold as to recommend or compel others to take them. I first made this point in 1998 to a psychiatrist although at the time I lost the argument as I had already willingly popped them like smarties as I was desperate to shut my mind down. The fact it also shut my genitalia down (literally shrinking them to two little peanuts with a hazelnut on top) was of little consequence either. It’s only in retrospect that I understand why I gave myself over to all that.
It was only when I was depot injected once a month that I became acquainted with the real torture. I think what made it worse was this was court-ordered and went on for 11 months.
Nearly 20 years later and I still have problems with akathisia, a word I believe I continue to misspell. And yet haven’t taken antipsychotics for over about 15 years.
It was about 4-5 years after getting off the antipsychotics that I was able to read a novel again. Priorly I was reading (and absorbing) 4-5 novels a week at my peak. That first post-antipsychotic novel took a week to read and while the act itself was something of a personal triumph, the lack of emotional or intellectual connection came as quite a disappointment.
Once you’ve been ruined by antipsychotics you don’t really get it back. You might be fortunate like I was in getting your genitals back but the intellectual verve once lost, remains lost.
It was probably because I was ahead of the game that even now, not having the fullness of my intellect available, I can still pass off as clever-enough in most circles. But it’s a sad lament, even still.
It’s true that most clinical psychologists duck and dive as much as possible from prescribing drugs to their analysands but in the UK at least there is also a general reluctance in the profession to work with the “lost causes”, the people with the classic major psychiatric illnesses, who, ironically, if they do get to have a sit down and a chat, are more likely to be given the opportunity if they have already been ‘stabilised’ on psychiatric drugs. Prescribed by someone else of course.
As someone of an existential bent I base near enough all my reality assessments on subjective experience and intution, like any self-respecting existential psychologist. Who are,by the way, as common around these parts as the woolly mammoth.
Another observation worth gently stroking until it purrs is this: psychology as a profession is thin-skinned. It doesn’t take kindly to criticism. I think this has to be at least in part because it has been somewhat tarnished by the modern bullshit called “positive thinking”.
Also, some of the most fundamental psychology studies are actually studies in abuse, and as such, psychology stands on the shoulders of abusers. Never forget that Jung was the pioneer of breaking sexual boundaries with female clients…
Can you give me some examples of communism in the Black community in 2016?
Communism remains an aspiration.
What I can do is point you to key black activists and the black lives manifesto. There is a distinct communist subtext. I have an eye for these things as I dabbled in communism in my younger days.
“Who is selling communism to the black community?”
An ex-professional footballer in England was recently tasered to death, and by all accounts, including his own family, he was deranged and dangerous prior to his death.
It seemed at first glance to be a madman narrative. But in fact turns out to be a kidney failure narrative.
On a personal level I had a friend with a brain tumour but did not know I had a friend with a brain tumour. He got diagnosed bipolar and busied himself adjusting to the diagnosis, then shortly after, died. During the last months of his life all the significant people in his life were adjusting to his bipolar diagnosis, and doing all they could to understand and help. In the meantime, a mutant fist was growing ever-larger in his brain.
Hollywood cliche numero uno: I did it for you.
People do co-produce their own oppression. And not just mental health patients. Battered wives (and sometimes battered husbands) do it almost to a formal flowchart.
Additionally, it might be possible, if you have the words and the courage, to make a bold case for all oppressed groups to be actively co-producing their own oppression. Given that those who are oppressing them are also being oppressed and co-producing it too.
That is probably the essence of the problem. Anyone who is oppressed is oppressed by people that are also oppressed, but just a little bit less so. I’m not sure where that binary leads, given that binaries require at least two people to endure.
End Game by Samuel Beckett does te best job of bringing that into the light.
Good luck with the attorney. Sounds like it’s what you both need. I admire mothers that stick by their sons; I’ve known some people do terrible things but the mother is stoic. And that’s a wonderful and humbling thing to witness.
Fights are black and white. You either win a fight or you lose a fight. Mother’s are never to be seen for instance at the boxing ring. You might occasionally see them in the audience. But nowhere near the ring itself. Why might that be so?
Anyway, you have an attorney, hopefully. And dad doesn’t want in on the fight. That’s a real shame, as the dad’s input would surely help.
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I hope you return with updates.
“Dr. Ken Blatt trained when psychiatry was steeped in a humanistic, philosophic and social/relational tradition. ”
That sounds horrible and I’m sorry you had to live through that bullshit.
Sadness is not a human problem as such and it does not require a human solution as such although granted I note you have recommended some loosely philosophical readjustments.
It is sad to be born only to come to the realisation that you are going to die. There is no solution to that.
I could go on but I won’t. It’s a very very messy and dirty business, sustaining life. If this wasn’t all partly intended as some kind of cosmic joke then there wouldn’t be a gastro-intestinal system and all the muckiness that comes with it, on every imaginable level.
Just try and be that person who sprays highly carcinogenic when breathed lavender scent from an aerosol whenever they are compelled to flush water down pipes in confined spaces.
Since the dawn of modern psychiatric time (circa 1850) people have been recovering from so-called serious psychiatric illness — and also not much recovering, just thinking that they have and having enough people willing to indulge the idea.
In a nutshell, about 30% recover and never so much as an unintended burp of it happening again.
The most fawned-upon text about schizophrenia and recovery is from the 19th C. and is called MEMOIRS OF MY NERVOUS ILLNESS by DANIEL PAUL SCHREBER. Excuse the CAPS that was a cut and paste job.
The essential point you are making here in your mind is that recovery and non-recovery narratives have been the mainstay of modern psychiatry since, well, permit me yet another moment of absolute egoic splendour, but these narratives have run along the whole journey of modern psychiatry.
Just a halfhour sniffing archive.org will turn up some absolute gems.
I can only confess to read a couple of dozen but I think most people,including progressive recovery people, would be quite shocked at the similitudinous narratives.
But yes… the question of reveal or not reveal. For someone of a literary bent it is also a question of embellish.
Thanks to Ron Bassman all the same. Shake hands.
“I accuse you of the crime of not caring.”
Not caring isn’t a crime. It’s a right, if anything. The right of free conscience. People turn away not because they don’t care, but more that their caring doesn’t extend that far. Or, they decide they don’t like your face. Or even more measly factors: such as how pumped up or deflated their ego feels after the encounter.
I am going to give you some sage advice. If I didn’t care I wouldn’t bother. I don’t care — not really — but I do care enough to bother.
First of all, and this is a little bit against the social bullshit but: where is dad? Mom is fighting for you but where is dad?
Second: moms don’t know how to fight boys’ fights. Moms give terrible advice to sons about fighting.
And third and finally: everything you do will be considered as an index to your insanity other than the things you do that make the people running the institution feel validated. You haven’t worked that out because here you are. The only way out is coming to the understanding that nobody has to care about you, think about you, worry about you, concern themselves with you.
Martyrs don’t get to decide their martyr status. Though many will and will continue to strive.
Another insight which may help you is this: madness is invisible until the music and the dancing stops.
The most ardent socialists and revolutionary communists in the USA are also black.
Always the revolutionary verve is strongest amongst the most reviled.
This is why Jews were attracted to the revolutionary struggle in Russia. Finally the promise of a non-racist life. But how long was it until the communists, now in power, backtracked on their promises are resumed the killing and the persecution?
All political idealists are jackals at heart. Whether they be fascist, communist or libertarian. They’ll save your soul while simultaneously selling it.
Who is selling communism to the black community?
There is only one system that has ever given humanity a glimpse of freedom and that is democracy. It is and will forever be imperfect but it does allow for change, often quite radical, and it is the promise to children that only civilised adults can keep.
Aye. The UN Human Rights Council’s Resolution on Mental Health and Human Rights (HRC 32) is an inclusive milestone.
It only ever boils down to who has the best and most memorable aphorisms.
Principally, white people fight racism by creating opportunities to call one another racist.
Twin Lives Matter too?
I put any money on you being a white person that is also not entirely sincere when it comes to black rights.
Why do victims of psychaitric abuse have to be demarcated on racial lines? Surely the less Mengele in the activism the better?
Additionally, women fought for equality. The black lives movement manifesto does not demand equality, it demands autonomy.
Suffragettes didn’t demand a world economic network for women-only.
If you read the black lives manifesto it demands black-only economic trade routes and trade agreements.
It is not a movement that is fighting for equality as its ultimate aim. It is fighting for Black privilege.
Also, with respect, this is a very naive statement:
“But in a hegemonic society, it is always assumed that white lives matters–hence the phrase “black lives matters.”
How is it always assumed that “white lives matter”? Seriously. It’s almost as if you have no awareness of the vast swathes of dispossessed white people across the west. The huge numbers of peoples whose lives have come to mean nothing to those that hold power. Marx categorised these people as the “lumpenproletariat” and this group of marginalised people have been historically mostly comprised of white people, and that continues to this day.
You’d have to read the Black Lives manifesto and then we might be able to have a sensible discussion.
Only then could it be determined how right or wrong I am actually am about the exclusivist/separatist political vision being proposed.
Then again, it is always easier to insult someone than it is to make an actual effort to engage with the facts.
Why don’t you reference the manifesto?
Why is it just feelings and emotions?
Thanks Bonnie but that is not what I’ve been stating. That is a misrepresentation.
I’ll make this clear. I do not object to black rights or to fighting racism.
But the fight is not a one horse race.
Hispanic Lives Matter. Asian-American Lives Matter. Muslim-American Lives Matter. And so on and so forth.
I have not objected to the furtherance of anyone’s rights or the belittlement of any minority group’s lives.
What I have objected to are Black Lives Matter activists chanting for the deaths of cops. And I object to the exclusivist/separatist politics of the Black Lives movement, whose manifesto I have linked to,
Thanks for the link.
There seems to be some confusion between the Black Lives Movement and the Black Lives Matter movement.
This article is calling for an endorsement of the Black Lives Movement. Their manifesto can be found here:
I dunno. I think something I have learnt from physicists is that there is always a lot more going on than the surface reality.
And if you don’t examine the Black Lives manifesto than all you are doing essentially is skimming the surface reality.
Of course if you examine the manifesto — ie. the actual Politick — and you agree with it, then fair enough.
But maybe I’m a bit of an old-time sentimentalist in believing that the dreams of Martin Luther King may become a reality.
Attributing worthiness to a political movement does not simply arise — in my worldview at least — simply by that movement doing something. There has to be meat on the bone and then you’ve got get a good chew on that meat. I mean, it mustn’t all be surface realities.
I keep being called a racist because I am not convinced by a separatist black movement. I’m not a racist and I didn’t suddenly become one because of my reservations.
All I can deduce is that hardly anyone has actually taken the time to look under the surface of the movement, and is thus just dealing in rather vacuous surface realities.
I’m not sure how chanting “what we we want? dead cops! when do we want it? now!” is going to save lives. Or indeed disrupting major transport links.
If all we are dealing with is surface realities… and on that surface simply emotions and feelings… then I’m not convinced either that progress is going to be made.
I’d be more encouraged if one person was able to demonstrate that they had read and throught through the black lives manifesto.
My politics is inclusivist. I believe the only way forward is for people to come together, not break off into factions.
The positive is that these issues are back on the agenda and being discussed.
White people seem to be very keen to shame and name-call other white people like myself who do not endorse the underlying ethos of this emerging Black Lives movement (which is essentially exclusivist and separatist), seemingly in an attempt to raise their profile as right-on and with-it, when to mine eyes and those who have also taken a non-reactionary and sensible look, they appear right-off and without-it.
Yes, I agree that there are lots of problems with minority groups and how society shares its pies. But those problems are not simply and only experienced by black people. They are experienced by all minority and marginalised groups.
You appear to be someone who also hasn’t read and thought through the Black Lives manifesto.
I’m not telling anyone to shut up. And even if I did, they aren’t going to.
All I am holding true to is an INCLUSIVIST politics. The Black Live movement is an EXCLUSIVIST politics. And the Black LIves Matter sloganeering is but one example of that.
The issues you have raised about black people in the USA are not under the EXCLUSIVE ownership of the Black Lives movement. And I would again encourage you to examine their menifesto before you start pointing the finger of shame.
Thanks for taking the effort to explain.
I’m not sure I agree with you. I mean I can’t do this:
“One begins by admitting, if one is White, that you carry a backpack of power and privilege simply because you were born white. You don’t have to earn it, you don’t have to do anything to get it, it’s just there as part of your heritage when you are born. You stand above others simply because of your color. Looking at this reality and admitting to it is the beginning. ”
Because the only time that really seems to hold truck in my life, is when I am having deals with racists or white supremacists. And that isn’t often. In the sense of, me being white doesn’t appear to open the doors you imagine it does.
What closes the doors for me is madness, and, to some extent — no, to a very large extent — my resistance of bullshit and bullshitters. Modern life is so dependent on bullshit and bullshitters that if you refuse the narratives and the pressure to bullshit your way through life too… then you find yourself handicapped.
If I was more sane I would stop resisting bullshit and lord knows I have tried.
I was thinking of particle physics. Sane Lives Matter. Mad Lives Antimatter. Energies in oppositional relationships. It didn’t work as I’m having to explain it.
I agree that police brutality has to be tackled. But I do not agree that it should only be tackled in relation to one minority. At this point people usually say to me that more black people come a cropper with police brutality. But then more black people are proportionately involved in crime. So perhaps it’s not such a surprise.
And then there was the Black Lives Matter march through the streets of NYC chanting, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!”
Which would have led to a mass arrest in Britian.
I think the problem of the USA is that it considers hate speech to be free speech.
If hate speech was criminalised the civil discourse would improve. Although that would mean a lot of your radio broadcasters suddenly finding themselves out of work.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
I think before anyone endorses anything they should take care to examine what they are endorsing.
There is a comprehensive manifesto online that should be read.
As for Mad Lives Matter. Yes, indeed. Then we can have LGBT Lives Matter. Hispanic Lives Matter. Learning Disabled Lives Matter. Revolutionary Communist Lives Matter. NeoFascist Lives Matter. Romany Gypsy LIves Matter. Cops Lives Matter. And so on and so forth. Until finally we start seeing sense again and run on with the assumption that All Lives Matter.
If you read the Black LIves manifesto you’ll appreciate that it is exclusivist. And it has a slightly unnerving subtext that wishes to replace so-called White Privilege (whatever that is) with Black Privilege.
The movement betrays many of the aspirations of Martin Luther King, who I believe would have agreed with me that All Lives Matter.
But… there is the bandwagon… whatcha gonna do?
Why would anyone need to ‘out’ David Duke about his racial politics, when his entire political career has been built partly on his racial politics?
This article is proposing a public outing of racists that are currently hiding in the closet.
I’m with Ben Carson. “‘Of course all lives matter — and all lives includes black lives’
Someone might perhaps invite the man in question to state his position here.
Just to add there is clearly some evolutionary factor going on with regards cannabis, opium and (at a stretch) alcohol.
The brain has an identified cannabinergic system. It has an identified opiate system. Alcohol works on multiple systems and is not so benign, hence its damaging effects.
Drugs such as SSRIs and neurleptics don’t mimic pre-existing neurochemicals. They disrupt them.
Big big difference.
Nice one Mr Steve McCrea and a very liberal approach to boot.
However, it lacks honesty.
What I mean by that is a drug such as seroquel or abilify or chlorpromazine has no natural history. It is not comparable to the effect of say cannabis or opium or ethyl alcoholon the human brain and body (including at a genetic level).
When we talk about many of the modern psychiatric drugs it would be better to compare them to other toxic remedies from the past, such as arsenic and cyanide.
Placebos must work better when you can determine tangible adverse effects like headaches, nausea and wotnot. I know this because I experimented on myself with inert homemade placebos (flour + glucose and a hand-held pill press) and the results were lamentably zero.
I agree that the power of placebo is amazing but I think it must work better when there is loss of money and/or interpersonal credibilty added in to the equation.
I give an A++ to Mr Stephen Gilbert’s recommendation of alcohol. It is the drug of choice of The Bible for suffering souls. And what finer recommendation could there be?
Take my hand my friend and we will rise together on the rays of the morning sun. For truly my heart is a rainbow, and your heart is a rainbow too, and we exude beauty. We truly do.
Call me names until those sorrowful cows come home, but it won’t change who I am. I get the feeling you are another of my crew who never forgive me for disagreeing with them once about a minor issue no one can recall.
I love you. Love me too.
He contributes here. He’s an intelligent man. Make no mistake. However, I don’t see eye to eye with him and his kin.
They believe that people that come to be known as schizophrenic or manic are in fact in posession of a dangerous healing gift known as shamanism. The shaman is a New Age western construct. In a nutshell, it is a form of cultural appropriation or ransacking of the many thousands of indiginous/traditional cultures of the world. They take a bit from here and a bit from there and believe they are passported into doing this through the German quesi-mystic Carl Jung, who introduced the West to a new idea called Collective Consciousness. This basically gives thumbs up to cultural pilfering, depicting all the private traditions of the world as non-private resources for westerners to ransack, as spiritual tourists.
In recent times such Jungian-passported spiritual colonialists/tourists have been debasing Peruvian culture as a kind of adventure holidaying cure to western sadness.
That’s all I wish to say on the matter. Seth would obviously beg to differ but I doubt he’d want to waste his orgone on a deadbeat like me. 😉
It would be better named Mad Lives AntiMatter.
Oops. Then I’m yet again the dupe of misinformation. I didn’t know it began as a hashtag. Makes a lot of sense now why it comes across to me as a little bit tawdry. But in the context of twitter or facebook, it makes more sense.
Thanks for putting me right.
I apologise for any crossed wires and so on. Those comments were aimed at our white brothers and sisters.
I agree with you that these issues should be discussed out in the open. But I would also insist on there being a full sharing of the facts. You could well be right that the outrageous man in the video was equally outrageous at the beginning of the incident, but you may also be wrong.
The openness you seek and rightly so isn’t currently available because, the way I see things, people are afraid to speak out against the colleagues who they rely on to back them up when embroiled in other injustices.
This seems to be particularly true in the mental health industry. The professionals maintain a professional silence because every which way you turn there is some human rights abuse occurring.
I don’t know how you would go about surmounting these issues. What I have found in life is that speaking honestly and openly about human rights abuses gets you stigmatised as a troublemaker.
All you have listed you should have been doing anyway, prior to the Black Lives Matter movement even existing.
Every organisation worth its salt has an anti-discrimination policy. Even the organisations which are held to be institutionally racist.
There is nothing racist in insistenting that All Lives Matter. That’s inclusive. That includes all marginalised and discriminated against groups and individuals. A lot of the rhetroic comes across to me as overly emotive and maye even a little bit emotionally blackmailing.
I don’t need a white middle class woman telling me that Black Lives Matter. I know this already. Nothing in my life has ever suggested otherwise.
Here is yet another cognitive loop. I wasn’t going to post this as it may appear I’m just after the last word. But there can be no last word on a logical inconsistency.
Thanks for the helpful links. I took a while out of my continuing mental maelstrom and inevitable downfall to have a look. Yes, I have read a lot about the Black Lives Matter movement. That is why I understand why I, as a white man, of limited priviliege, due to mentalism and internalised self-disgust and wotnot, I make a mockery of myself if I figuratively hold the banner that proclaims, Black Lives Matter.
It is not racist for me as a dispossessed white person to proclaim All Lives Matter. And your cursory treatment of the issue in the link does not convince.
And I’ll be polite. I’ll tell you why.
The Black Lives Matter movement arose from the realisation that working in partnerships with whites just got them nowhere. Our lot can’t be trusted. Soon as hands start being offered everything starts to get filtered down and things don’t change or get worse. The Black Lives Matter movement is a political slogan that challenges you to admit to why racism is perpetuated.
They don’t want white middle class women like you speaking up for them. They don’t want white middle class women in their movement. For all your well-wishing and good intentions, they see you as the mechanism through which they have been endlessly compromised. Same goes with the white men too.
So I appreciate and understand as best I can why this exclusivist movement has come to be. And why its core members would be horrified to see the numerous attempts of the white middle classes to assimilate their movement.
And I respect the for that. Because it’s an alarm call and people need to wake up.
Rather than act as their spokesperson or try and use their passions to improve your profile, you’d do better to work towards helping resources shift to them.
Meanwhile, by saying All Lives Matter I remain true to my own ethos while avoiding the rather clumsy adoption of a slogan that is intended ultimately to shame me. Let them shame me. Let them shame all of us.
But don’t call me a racist because I know my place.
Additionally, libertarianism and the fight against racism (or any kind of abuse, whether that be sexual, physical, mental or whatever) are completely at odds.
And I’ll do the polite thing and tell you why.
In libertarianism, in the ideal state of liberty, there is no nation state, there is police, no institution whatsover. In radical libertarianism there is even no family.
Now on paper and in gaseous vocalisations that can sound quite appealing to many.
But as I say, libertarianism doesn’t promise to end abuse. All it promises is that abuse may have consequences if someone bigger and stronger or with more guile enters the scene.
It in no way calls for the end of abuse. Including racist abuse. It just proposes that there may be consequences.
This is why libertarianism will never go further than the wild west fantasy it truly is.
I think the whole point of Black Lives Matter is that it is an exclusivist movement.
If you can understand why it is an exclusivist movement you’ll maybe appreciate why it is laughable to watch white opportunists attempting to steal their thunder.
“Many of us have a lot to do in terms of dismantling our own white privilege and complicity in racist systems.”
How does one dismantle white privilege?
How does one dismantle complicity with racist systems?
Now I have given this some extra thought. Why haven’t the racists and the mentalists been outed already? Everyone must have encountered racism and mentalism. Why didn’t they out the racist or the mentalist?
Why did they keep their gob shut?
I have written on here about the difficulty I have in life keeping my gob shut. And the difficulties I have with professionalism. The latter often entails maintaining a professional silence.
People will go on turning a blind eye to racism and mentalism so long as it is considered an unwritten professional duty. And that’s where it becomes tricky. Racism and mentalism is acknowledged by all institutions nowadays as being a big problem which has to be tackled. But it is never adequately tackled.
This is another reason why I think it is best not to be a reactionary. The behavior of the man in the video is objectionable, as is the woman’s. If you make a scapegoat out of him, you may destroy his life and potentially the lives of the people closest to him.
All lives matter.
Just to add it should not come as a shock to anyone that there is racism in any progressive movement. Racism is rife.
Additionally there is lots of mentalism in the progressive mental health movements.
Only the naive and blinkered would not know this already.
I agree the racists and the mentalists should be outed. My natural inclination would then be to take them around the back for a good kicking, but as I have written above, I try and resist reactionary impulses.
People were pointed to a video of the event which spurred the article writer into action. Unfortunately the video in question begins midway and depicts two adults, one black, one white, behaving badly in public. We live in highly reactionary times and I do my best to resist that.
The reason I think it is wise not to be a reactionary is because you can inadvertently undermine what you believe in.
Personally I am against racism. I am also against bullying and discrimination of anyone based on their physical or mental being.
So while I would stand shoulder to shoulder with anyone being discriminated against or fighting against discrimination, I will resist becoming a reactionary.
Even if a white middle class woman tries to whip me up into reactionary fervour, I will resist.
Both the woman and the man were publicly humiliating one another with words. He’s calling her a “cunt” and she’s calling him a “little bitch”.
Near the end of the video he makes a blatantly racist comment.
But he is a short man and short men often experience discrimination and bullying.
I think they are both behaving badly in the videos.
You shouldn’t cast judgment until you have seen the beginning.
Yes you do need to see the beginning. Situations have a beginning, a middle and an end.
You aren’t looking at a “situation” you’re looking at a video. The video commences some way into the situation.
At the point the video commences two adults are exchanging insults. But what we don’t get to see is how it began and how it reached the point when the video starts rolling.
I watched the two videos of the short-in-height “white” man expressing his outrageous agitation with the tall-in-height “black” woman. Whoever pressed click must have done so midway in this public altercation because the little white man was clearly very worked up into a frenzy and the first video was clearly not the beginning.
I agree that the language he used was very derogatory. But then so was the language the woman used. She repeatedly called him a “little bitch” which was obviously intended to hurt him, because he was quite an exceptionally short man. He repeatedly called her a “see you next tuesday” which is not sexist. But is probably not the best word to diffuse a situation.
I agree that racism and sexism are problems that need to be tackled in the open but I’m equally opposed to us all becoming feelings-driven reactionaries.
Are the pseudo-quotes some new convention? Or is it another of the microaggressions?
“but ayuasca will only ever be an appropriate herbal treatment for a minority of persons, and then only after classes in it’s proper use, ethnobotany, etc., and a proper setting. For some, ayuasca would be WORSE than psych drugs….”
Who gets to decide? And how? I’ll answer the question for you. The person that gets to decide who is best suited and who is not, is a con artist.
I find it remarkable (admittedly, only a teeny weeny bit) that people rail against the lack of robust assessment in psychiatry, yet embrace so willingly the quackery that is “alternative”, especially when it comes to ayuasca.
“We don’t have literally 10’s of millions of cannabis users because it’s so “harmful”….
You know as well as I do, that PhRMA is all about making $$$$….
Yes, and they will sicken MILLIONS to do it….”
Well, it is a capitalist environment. I don’t think making money is something to point the finger at. Are you telling me the New Age con artists are not making money? Are the sellers of alcohol and cannabis not making money?
And just because lots of people use a drug — for instance nicotine — doesn’t in and of itself prove it mustn’t be harmful. If only human beings were actually that rational we wouldn’t be in such a mess, would we?
And finally you had a dig at the ex-pharmacist for involving herself in the drugs trade. Which is a cheap shot. Although if she’s going to back-hand you some clonazepam I think it only fair she throws me a couple of kilos of codeine…
No. You did not choose the wrong profession. I have been initiated into The Way of Madness and I can tell you with absolute certainty that you didn’t choose the wrong profession. You chose the wrong drugs. What you should have been dispensing to the lost souls who presented themselves to you were the hallucinogenic drugs, particularly, for those suffering the travails we have come to call schizophrenia, you should have taken the into a back room and humanely administered ayuasca, and, as the sick bucket filled, know in your heart of hearts that you were taking part in a ritual that was going to save the world.
This is backed up by sound and rational science. And if anyone questioned what the hell was going on, all you had to say was, Seth Farber told you so.
I truly despair. Although thankfully have a sense of humour as my spiritual guide. Help me!
It’s interesting how a legitimate concern about the New age construct of the shaman is dismissed out of hand as ethnocentric and bigoted.
There are shaman in Africa advising men with aids to duck babies to bring about a cure. That’s a fact. All across Africa shaman are performing genital mutilationss as cleansing rituals. And as rituals to gender neutralise in very peculiar ways.
There is no universal shamanism. That is a middle class New age romantic construct.
People would have you believe that a holiday in Peru ingesting hallucinogens in a mud hut puking your guts up can cure you of sadness.
It’s all so very sad and so very pretentious and exploitative.
Ah well. Q uack quack.
My worst psychosis lasted nearly 18 months. It got progresively worse. I didn’t get any help. I came very close to at point being killed, and during the latter stages, dying of malnutrition. I think you are naive, as so many are, about the severe end of the scale. It isn’t a little jumpy clappy silly party — though I accept it is for some, and really the main problem they had, was their histrionic overreaction.
Thank you for putting me on to Joel Hassman’s blog.
I enjoyed the dialogue too. Best wishes.
Also, just out of curiosity, what was the title of your dissertation? Always fascinated to know…
Thank you Mr Seth Farber for that mildly disarming reply of a somewhat snotty tone.
Hey, I’m not a bigot. I disagree with you. I give short shrift to pomposity and pretentiosuness. Imagining that people suffering the world over with what has come to be known as schizophrenia or bipolar are in fact misunderstood shamans that if properly assimilated by society could save the world is…
well, first and foremost for those of a Christian bent, such as yourself, an appeal to false prophecy…
but in a general, rational, logical, humane sense…. just plain out and out delusion.
Yes, Mr Seth Farber I have read one book by McKenna. It wasn’t quite as good as the one I read by Carlos Casteneda.
But you know, shamans don’t get it from books. And they don’t get it from snotty intellectuals. Where do they get it from I wonder?
Believe me, in the face of the most truculent and complex individuals, it’s a big ask for everyone to be nice and kind at all times without some form of sedation going on. But I appreciate you don’t seem to be against that, as any on here would.
There has never been a true asylum of the kind you allude to. As lovely as it sounds. And I’ve never actually seen any realistic proposal for such a place. Which is something that concerns me. Because without a vision, what can there ever be?
And before you can even have the vision, you need the people.
But like I say, the most complex and truculent people are the very people that a true asylum should be designed around. And yet, time and time over, these are the people that get tossed aside and abandoned.
I agree with you that there should be a humane approach to people with the most complex needs. And yes the basics should at least be in place, and often are.
But ultimately the people of alternative approach don’t seem to be equipped to deal with the most truclent and complex people. They generally wash their hands of them. The schemes and initiatives and places of support and recovery generally want rid of them too, soon enough.
And so it generally follows that the only people willing to stand in and help are the psychiatrists. Or, just as often, no-one.